In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. - John 1:1 and 1:14
There are times when the reality of what it means to believe in Jesus really sinks in and causes me to pause in my day. During the holidays this seems to happen more frequently.
I think it's because of the Christmas music and holiday movies. I hear beautiful songs on the radio where people are signing about peace and love. I watch movies with my kids where people talk about the "spirit of Christmas".
There always seems to be a main character who realizes life is all about family and relationships rather than the size of their salary or the title on their office door.
All very positive messages and ones I agree with and talk about almost daily with my clients.
The Meaning of Christmas
But understanding the true meaning of Christmas and what it means to believe in Jesus always takes me back to one very difficult to understand and challenging tenant of Christianity, the incarnation.
This morning as I meditate on these two verses in John's gospel, I am reminded that Jesus was more than just a prophet, a healer, a teacher, and activist.
He was with God before all creation and was God. He came to earth without divesting any of part of his deity and became man, the God-Man.
In doing so, he introduced the world to the idea that God was more than a transcendent god - more than just a spiritual essence - more than just a god who created everything and then watches with no involvement.
Jesus, as the God-Man, sets Christianity apart from every other religion and brings me to a space where I must have faith or take flight.
In all transparency, this is a space that I occupy regularly. Not because I don't believe but because in my sinful nature I am drawn to unbelief. I am drawn to life without faith in Jesus. My sinful nature pulls me this way, telling me that life is more enlightened without Jesus. Life is more peaceful, more tolerant, and more intellectual.
Each day I have to make a choice as a leader in my home and at work to have faith or take flight from this God-Man, Jesus. When I choose to follow him, I become the instrument of His will - I experience His unfailing love and faithfulness - I turn from my sinful nature and choose to live and lead with Jesus as my guide.
For me, Christmas is all about the incarnation. Celebrating the coming of God, in human form, to bring the world back into right relationship with its Creator.
Jesus, thank you for coming to earth as the Messiah. Thank you for being fully God and fully man, becoming our sympathetic priest, and Savior who understands the human condition, temptations, and plight. I don't understand it fully but I have faith. Father, thank you for sending your Son to restore the relationship tarnished by sin. Holy Spirit, help me to grow in my faith daily and keep me from the space where I am tempted to take flight and believe the philosophies and religions of this world. Amen.
- Do you believe in the incarnation?
- How does the incarnation change your view of Christmas and the holiday season?
- What does believing in Jesus mean for your leadership of those you love and serve?
Make it a great day!